Knit Tee Rescue

DIY Snag Fix

Rescue your favorite knit items from snags and pulls without the use of a special snag tool!

Crafty Gnomes: 1
 (See the Crafty Gnome Key Below)
Naps to Complete: Less than 1 (A few minutes)

DSCN5580

So your favorite outfit has a snag that sticks out and catches EVERYONE’s attention. Or so you think, as you gaze into the mirror, unable to see anything else. You rummage through you sewing kit, but can’t find a snag tool. Here are a few ways to use tools you already have to fix snags, without the use of a burr, or Snag-it type device.

Option 1 – Crocheting Hook (my favorite)

What you’ll need:

  • Small crocheting hook
  • Fray Check (Optional)

DSCN5570 1. CAREFULLY, stretch the fabric around the snag to work the thread back into the weave. You may untwist the snag (if it will) and try gently pulling the fabric on either side of the snag (you’ll see where the thread is tight) to pull the thread back in a bit. Be very careful, particularly with delicate fabrics, pulling to hard can cause the snag to become a hole. If it won’t go in with gentle manipulation, it’s better to just pull it to a less visible location, so on to step 2.

2. Find the smallest crocheting hook you can, if you highlight your own hair (or anyone else’s for that matter :), grab the freebee that comes with the hook and cap kit. If you know anyone that highlights their hair, have them save you one for future use, they’re great to have around for all sorts of things.

DSCN55733. With the garment right-side-out, push the hook up through the base of the snag (there is often a small gap associated with the snag).

DSCN55744. Hook the snag and gently pull it through to the other side of the fabric. If it gives you a hard time, wrap it around a bit, then pull through.

DSCN55725. *Optional* Place a drip of Fray Check on the base of the snag. It’s totally up to you if you want to use this product or a similar one to finish up the job. There are definite pros and cons. The pros are that the snag is unlikely to pull back to the face of the garment, even with multiple washings, and the Fray Check will keep the snag from growing. Additionally, if there is any weakness in the thread or any small holes you didn’t notice, they are not likely to get bigger without taking the bit of Fray Checked fabric with. The con is the site will be a bit stiff and in some cases will appear a little different. If you’re worried, try a dab on the inside of the hem, let dry and make the choice after you’ve observed it.

6. Let dry so the Fray Check isn’t touching any other fabric (they may stick).

You can wear it as soon as it’s dry to the touch, but don’t wash it for at least 24 hours.

Option 2 – Needle and Thread

Needle and Thread

No crocheting hook on hand, but you have a needle and thread? This method is nearly as easy, but takes just a bit longer.

What You’ll Need:

  • Needle
  • Thread (any color)
  • Fray Check (Optional)

1. Follow Step 1 from above.

2. Thread the needle, you’ll only need a few inches.

DSCN5890DSCN58913. Tie a small knot, and overhand bow (as shown).

DSCN58874. Push the needle through the base of the snag, but leave the thread hanging out the front.

DSCN58935. Part the thread between the needle and the knot, place the snag between (sorry, I had a hard time taking a picture of this because it requires 2 hands).

6. Holding the knot and snag so they do not disassociate, pull the needle and thread through with the other hand. Be careful not to pull to hard. On a close weave you will have to wiggle the knot through gently as to not damage the fabric.

7. Follow steps 5 and 6 from above if you like.

Option 3 – Needle Threader (you may have one and not even know it, check your tiny sewing kit that sneaked into your bag on your last hotel stay)

Needle head threader

What You’ll Need:

  • Needle Threader
  • Fray Check (Optional)

1. Follow Step 1 from Option 1.

DSCN58952. Push the loop of the threader up through the base of the snag from the “wrong” side of the fabric.

DSCN58963. push the snag into the loop (sometimes this is easier said than done, which is why I prefer the crocheting hook if one is available).

4. Pull the threader back down and the snag through the fabric.

5. Follow steps 5 and 6 from option 1 if you like.

Enjoy that favorite outfit a little longer!

Happy Hooking!

-The Naptime Gnome <;)

 

Crafty Gnome Key:
1 Crafty Gnome = Simple cutting, gluing, tracing, and/or painting, etc.
2 Crafty Gnomes = Any of the above, plus the use of a few tools, and may involve a sewing machine for some simple seams… nothing crazy.
3 Crafty Gnomes = Could require some practice with any of the above items, and/or could involve power tools (you’ll meet Burly Gnome soon enough)
4 Crafty Gnomes = Includes most or all of the above… A bear of a project or requires a bit of help.
5 Crafty Gnomes = Perhaps a bit sorry I attempted it.

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DIY Fabric Covered Label Windows

Naptime Gnome Idea #2

Add a Custom Fabric Label Window to Just About Anything!

The gnomes responsible for cleaning-up around here all really appreciate labels!  For some reason, even when everyone knows the rightful home of various household items, things have a much higher likelihood of ending up in their homes, if a label is involved.  Thus, freeing up more time for the clean-up gnomes!  As I double as a clean-up gnome, I am particularly fond of these handy little devices. The best kind of labels are those that can be changed at will, with little hassle. This makes chalkboards really high on my list of awesome decorating tools, but the clean lines of label windows are right up there!  
Here are some label windows, hard at work, in the “mud room” portion of the new laundry room remodel. 
You won’t be hard pressed to find all sorts of baskets, folders and various other organizers adorned with these household helpers, but what about adding them to your own projects, or items you already have?  Here is a quick (honest, they really don’t take long, the tutorial is just very thorough to account for various skill/experience levels), easy way to make label windows with items you probably already have in your home.  
These windows were custom made for the little bear’s new backpack. We wanted a way to minimize the bulk of his preschool pack, while increasing the functionality… this is code for “make sure nothing gets lost on the way to teacher/show and tell or back home again.” Enter Naptime Gnome with one-of-a kind “folder pack,” complete with labelled pockets. 
So grab a cup of your favorite warm and snugly beverage and join us for some label making!

DIY Label Windows
Crafty Gnomes: 2, for minimal sewing skill
 (See the Crafty Gnome Key Below)
Note: If you don’t have a machine, 
you could definitely glue them 
using fabric glue or fusible tape.
Time to Complete: 1 naptime to make 3-5 (possibly more if you’re quick, or they are super sleepy!)
Supplies and Tools
  • Old jeans or other denim/stiff canvas material (cut-off legs from shorts, or old bits of canvas drop-cloth are great)
  • Fabric to cover (here I used a felt backed vinyl tablecloth)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Straight pins
  • Paper for labels 
  • Printer for printing labels (if your handwriting looks anything like mine!:) Optional
 
 Making the Denim Form

    1. Cut a rectangle of canvas about as large as the window you would like to make. About 3.5″ x 2.5″ is pretty standard. I went 3.25″ x 2.25″ because I wanted them to be a little smaller to better fit a wee-one’s world.

    2. Fold in half (either landscape or portrait, doesn’t matter). Measure the width you would like the edge of the window to be (these are 1/2″ frames). Remember, that once you wrap the denim with fabric, it will be slightly wider, but the difference is only about 1/16″ – 1/8″ of an inch.  Keeping the frame folded, mark the inner edge of the frame. Using three straight cuts, cut the upper, then lower line, then remove the center by cutting the third edge between them.

    3. When you unfold the fabric, you should have a relatively symmetrical, rectangular frame. Trim any frays or wavy edges.

     


    Preparing the Cover Fabric
    4. Place your frame on your cover fabric and measure approximately 1/5″ out from the form, on all four sides. Mark and cut.

    5. Mark the approximate center and inner corners with small dots. These will be your guides for cutting the inner portion of your cover fabric to make the “window.” I used dry-erase marker on this vinyl. You can use a pattern marker/pencil or a sliver of soap if using a darker fabric.

    6. Fold the cover fabric diagonally and bite into it at a perpendicular angle with your scissors. This should be the beginning of your slit from the opposite or diagonally oriented marks. Carefully extend your cut to the dots on either side.

    7. Insert the scissors halfway down the diagonal slit and cut to the remaining dots on either side, making an “X.” NOTE: DO NOT CUT BEYOND THE MARK. If you cut too far, the frame will be exposed underneath. You can always snip a bit more if you need to, but “you may never come back” (and if you didn’t hear that ethereal echo in the background, you may have to rent the movie “All Dogs Go to Heaven.”

    Wrapping the Denim Form 
    8. Now it’s time to get our wrap on. 🙂 Place the cover face down and position the denim form with the “X” peeking through the window.

    9. Pull the triangular cut flaps up and outward to wrap the inner perimeter of the frame. Pin and repeat with each triangular flap. Flip over and inspect the corners, if the frame is fairly well covered… GREAT JOB! If any flaps look a bit loose, or the inner edges look uneven, one at a time, unpin the offending flaps, reposition, pin and continue.

    10. Trim the portions of the wrapped flaps that exceed the denim frame. This will reduce the bulk when your wrap the outer edge.

    11. Fold the flaps in to cover the outer perimeter of the form. If you are using a fabric that can be safely ironed, this would be an excellent place to whip out the iron, and simply press the folds as you make them to keep them crisp.

    My vinyl would have shriveled into a little charred ball, so it took a little more effort to keep the edges looking crisp. To get nice square corners, I tried “gift wrapping” by making little triangular folds, but only resulted in bulky rounded corners. Ultimately, it was easiest to fold the flaps in on either side and pin.

    THEN, doing the bottom and top, being careful to keep the folds tucked in. The next few steps outline this technique more clearly. So if you have clean corners, just skip to step 12.

    11a. Fold the bottom (or top if you desire) flap, by first pinching the fold so the fabric doesn’t slide diagonally, then fold it directly up (or down if doing the top).

    11b. Pin the corner in place, temporarily.

    11c. Then smooth out the flap and pinch the other corner fold and pull up to pin, being careful to keep the fold tucked in. Repeat for the last flap.


    Stitch Into Place
    12. Using your desired thread, top-stitch in place by sewing first around the outer edge. This makes it safe to remove your pins as you go, as the tips of your inner flaps should extend to your stitch. Then stitch your inner edge.  I chose to stitch use an 1/8″ margin, but you can sew between 1/8″ and 1/16″ from the edge of your frame with a window this size. 



    Attach to Desired Object
    13. Now that you have a beautiful little frame, you’ll need to attach it to something in need of organizing!  You can attach by stitching into place by top-stitching (using a running stitch) right over the top of 3 of your outer stitch lines, or you can use glue, again, only on three sides. The open edge will allow you to slip in your tags. On this project I left the top open because the pack will usually be upright. But you could also put them on the side, which on some items may lay nicer.

    NOTE: If gluing, be careful to use just a very thin line of glue along the VERY outer edge, so you will leave space for your label cards. If gluing to fabric, fabric glue, or fusing tape (if your fabric can be ironed) are probably your best bets, but you may want to use something a bit more substantial if you are gluing to paper, wood, plastic or metal. I’ve never had much luck with fabric glue bonding to anything but fabric, and of course, me. I’m a fan of the newer white and yellow glues: Titebond, Elmer’s Glue-All, and Liquid Nails (though this may be overkill! 🙂 always seem to get the job done. Stay away from Gorilla Glue or Super/Krazy Glue for this, as they tend to misbehave a bit with fabric, plus they make a big fat mess.

    Design Designer Labels
    14. Your labels should be slightly smaller than the space within your outer stitching perimeter, but bigger than the window so they don’t jump out. I’ve found a light cardstock or even printable business cards seem to stay put the best. Measure and establish your desired label size, about 1/4″ narrower and about a 1/4″ shorter than the outer stitched edge should do the trick.

    15.  You can hand write the labels and be done (YAY!), or you can print them using a word-processing or image creator/editor program.

    16.  Cut your labels to fit, slide in, stuff your box, basket, or other receptacle with ONLY what is printed on it.  Harass mercilessly, any individual that does otherwise… or simply reorganize their sock drawer…

    ENJOY!

    The Naptime Gnome


    Crafty Gnome Key:
    1 Crafty Gnome = Simple cutting, gluing, tracing, and/or painting, etc.
    2 Crafty Gnomes = Any of the above, plus the use of a few tools, and may involve a sewing machine for some simple seams… nothing crazy.
    3 Crafty Gnomes = Could require some practice with any of the above items, and/or could involve power tools (you’ll meet Burly Gnome soon enough)
    4 Crafty Gnomes = Includes most or all of the above… A bear of a project or requires a bit of help.
    5 Crafty Gnomes = Perhaps a bit sorry I attempted it.

    How to get a fancy New Vegas buffet at Old Vegas prices!

    Mommy Vegas Idea #4

    One of Las Vegas’ Best Kept Buffet Secrets!

    Early in our Vegas residency, my dad was working out of state, my brothers were off exploring the world, and my mom and I were making a sport of exploiting the cheapest eats Sin City had to offer.
    With only two bellies to feed, it was easier, and sometimes even cheaper, to go out. Plus, it was fun, all huddled in a quaint booth some nauga gave its hide for, while swapping stories about our days.

    It was a great time, and for two girls that love hunting out a good deal, it was a ton of fun trying to outdo our standing records. There were seriously a few places left in town where 1 – 2 bucks could get you an entire meal, and if you were willing to eat in the middle of the night, 49¢ could get you an entire breakfast at the Klondike! Granted, it wasn’t seafood at the Rio, or steak at the Hilton, but if you could ignore the haze of cigarette smoke and sticky pleather booth, some of it was actually pretty good!

    Many implosions later, the going rate for a decent buffet at dinner is about $40, and some are upwards of $80 a guest! While I can’t say I ever LIKE paying that much to eat, I can say the dining experiences to be had on the Strip can be quite extraordinary.  My standing fave is the Aria, if you like tapas style dining, the experience is fantastic – particularly during their Gourmet Buffet.  But a few local joints have made an effort to provide unique and exotic fare alongside comfort food faves, which tend to be a bit easier on the billfold!  The Stations, including Red Rock and Green Valley Ranch, usually have pretty good eats at reasonable prices. Particularly if you go for breakfast or lunch, and midweek prices are often even better!  Be sure to get their players’ club card, “The Boarding Pass,” if you haven’t already. This handy little card signs you up for all sorts of specials and events, and earns you points to redeem for various benefits, but germane to the topic of cheap eats, gets you oodles of buffet options under ten bucks!

    I’ve had a few good meals at the Cannery and Arizona Charlies properties too, but the best, without question, that I’ve had thus far, has been The M. While a little pricier than some of the other local hangouts, the food is consistently excellent, and delightfully diverse. Additionally, the property is simply stunning, well manicured and in a nicer part of town, if you can call the very tippity edge of our desert island part of “town.” We’ve had great luck with freshness, and the selection is so wide that even the pickiest eaters have no trouble, while the adventurers will find plenty of exotic salads and sausages, sushi and soups, and desserts, desserts, desserts!  A fun added bonus is the inclusion of selected wines and beers on tap… and even an espresso and gelato bar. I’m a fan of their own Microbrew Cider, personally.  OH, and munchkins 4 and under are FREE!

    Dinner at the M’s Studio B Buffet, isn’t cheap. At $23.99 during the week and $39.99 for their Seafood Buffet (Friday – Sunday), you aren’t paying much less than Strip prices. But have no fear!  There is a simple trick to getting oodles of great food at pub prices. If your schedule allows, why not gather for a weekday brunch?* Monday – Friday breakfast is only $10.99, $5.99 if you happen to have California ID (I know, so unfair for us locals, but remember to remind yourself how much we love the money they share with our economy!).

    There’s a reason breakfast is so inexpensive, there really isn’t much out yet, the bar isn’t open, the desserts are neatly hiding behind the counter… it’s just not the full Studio B experience… until 10:30, when EVERYTHING comes out to play. SO, the trick is to get there AND PAY BEFORE 10:30 AM, but late enough to not have to wait 2 hours for a bit of creme brulee… that being said, the line isn’t usually half bad between 10 and 10:15.  Cut it too close, and you may start to feel like you’re waiting for Mickey’s autograph at Disneyland.  Now, if you happen to miss the breakfast deal, no worries, its only $5 more for lunch, but that can add up with a larger group.  So be sure to try mid-week “brunch” at the M and let us know about your favorite family deals and tricks for great eats in Vegas!

    Happy Eating!

    -Candice

    P.S: If you don’t mind a slightly longer walk to the food, ask your host(ess) if you may sit near the windows.  Studio B at The M has a solarium dining space with huge floor to ceiling windows. The view of the Valley is spectacular.

     

    *I HAVE SAD NEWS: The Studio B, M Buffet no longer offers Breakfast, I will try to update this post if breakfast returns, but for the time being, lunch is served between 11:00 am and 2:30 pm and is $15.99 for adults and $11.99 for children 5-9.

    Children’s Museum, Beautiful NEW Location

    Mommy Vegas Idea #3

    Discover the Discovery Museum All Over Again! 

    Every time I suggest we visit the Children’s Museum my son matter-of-factly objects, but suggests we visit the “NEW” Children’s Museum instead, as if the old one is still an option.  There was nothing wrong with the old location, it’s just that the new one is JUST SO RIGHT.  In fact, he would argue, as many others seem to – if you’ve only visited the Museum back when it was located on North Las Vegas Boulevard, you simply haven’t been to the Children’s Discovery Museum! 

    With its slightly new name, fancy new address in the Smith Center complex, fantastic cast of employees and volunteers, new lower entrance fee, and beautiful new building packed with charming, exciting, informative, and fun new exhibits, we’re struggling to find anything wrong with the new digs!  Oh, maybe one thing – with so much to see and do, it’s no easy task squeezing it all into one visit, but there’s even a great solution to that dilemma:  the annual pass options are TOTALLY worth it!

    I wish I could show you in pictures, but the place is always so packed we can’t get any pictures without a few munchkins slipping in, and I’m not in the business of posting other people’s kids on the internet! 🙂 So here we go:

    • The new imaginative play area has a beautiful zero-rise stage (so not even the littles will fall from stardom), complete with a kid-operated lighting and sound booth, oodles of props, costumes and plenty of seating for the audience (read: “benches so Mom and Dad can catch a breather”). The grand stage is flanked by two less-traditional stages. With just a little imagination, a spacious ship can go from HMS Discovery, to a vessel of scallywags under the Jolly Roger, to the USS Discovery all in a matter of moments. Once the ship returns to port, cue the costume change in the dressing area located on the other side of the zero-rise stage, and on to the adjacent two story Castle for the next Act. 
    • Haven’t had enough imaginative play? Head up to “Eco-City” and try those little hands at veterinary medicine, construction, aviation, auto mechanics, retail or commerce. 
    • The toddler area for kids five and under, and their siblings, is a nice place to escape when it’s crowded (we’ll have to keep this in mind when school starts and the field trips start flooding in!).  
    • The water works has several stations with something for everyone, including tiny rain coats! Little Bug is a HUGE fan of the scaling. She couldn’t reach the water tables at the previous location (which always spurred much frustration from her and a sore back for Mommy), but now she can happily approach much of the exhibit and interact just like the big kids – HUGE PLUS!  
    • You’ll also find an expanded new physics/engineering center, to build and test inventions.
    • A spacious traveling gallery space
    • Extensive art center with plenty of ways to explore texture, color, light, space and more!
    • A health and diet exhibit very similar to the one in the previous location with some fun new twists.
    • And don’t leave without solving the mystery in “Mystery Town!” Where your kiddos can try their hand at archaeology and forensic science techniques.

      So after our first few handfuls of visits, we’ve come up with a few survival tips, particularly if you have wee ones:

    • Get there when they open. Some Fridays, weekends and holidays, the line can provide over an hour wait, once the museum meets capacity. So get there early, just in case. 
      • Plus, even when it’s not packed, the activity tower, with it’s 12 or so floors of fun exhibits and habitrail like tunnels and slides, gets so crazy it’s nearly impossible to stick together. So hit this up the second you get there, at least on your first visit.
    • Check out the listing of demonstrations and activities on the digital kiosk (see below), located near the center of each floor, then plan your attack around where each session you may want to attend is located. It can be a challenge to wrangle the crew from a fun activity on the 1st floor, all the way to the third floor without much notice. 

    • Be prepared to get wet, messy, or both!  With the great new water works and interactive art area, squeaky wet shoes and paint dipped sleeves may be unintentional souvenirs, but well worth it!
    • Bring snacks or pack a lunch. Like the previous location there aren’t many places nearby to grab a bite. But don’t let that cut your trip short. If you’re desperate, your hand stamp will get you back in even after a trip down to the Premium Outlet Mall for a quick lunch. 
    • Consider the annual pass. Keep your receipt. After your visit, if you think you’d like to come back a few more times, stop by the front desk on your way out.  If you opt to become a member, they will deduct your entry fees if you buy a membership on the day of your visit! If you have a big family, or like to bring guests, be sure to ask about the Discovery Pass. Both the Family and Discovery Memberships become cost effective after two to four visits for most families.  
    • HAVE FUN!

    Happy exploring!

    -Candice